Guindon v. R. – SCC: Guindon appeal argued in Supreme Court of Canada on December 5

Bill Innes on Current Tax Cases

The Guindon appeal dealing with advisor penalties under section 163.2 of the Income Tax Act was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada on December 5.  The issue was whether these penalties were penal sanctions giving rise to the protection of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

The Minister of National Revenue assessed against Ms. Guindon, the applicant, penalties under s. 163.2 of the Income Tax Act in the amount of $546,747, for false statements she made in the context of a charitable donation program. The Minister took the position that Ms. Guindon participated in, assented to or acquiesced in the making of 135 tax receipts she knew, or would reasonably be expected to have known, constituted false statements that could be used by participants in the donation program to claim an unwarranted tax credit under the Income Tax Act. Ms. Guindon appealed the assessment. She argued, among other things, that the third party penalty imposed under s. 163.2 of the Income Tax Act is a provision with true penal consequences and therefore falls within the ambit of s. 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Accordingly, she claimed she should have been entitled to the fundamental substantive and procedural legal rights for which that section provides, such as the right to be presumed innocent, which would raise the burden of proof from proof on a balance of probabilities to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The Tax Court accepted Ms. Guindon’s argument and vacated the assessment. The Court of Appeal reversed that decision.

Supreme Court of Canada, Bulletin of Proceedings, March 21, 2014, No. 35519 (the case information on the Supreme Court of Canada site indicates that the order was granted on March 20, 2014).

A link to the archived webcast is found below:,001&urlfr=,001&date=2014-12-05